Anywhere But Here is track 2 from my recent release, Grope. It’s an unabashed slice of Britpop, built around a series of chord cycles, with my Fender Telecaster taking the main rhythm track.

Anywhere But Here would have been written in about 1994-5, the height of Britpop; the halcyon days of Oasis and Blur fighting it out for the number one spot.  And really, the song is pulling from both camps for inspiration – there’s the telecaster rhythm, a nod to Graham Coxon, and the sunshine of the chorus lyric, a definite lean towards Liam Gallagher. Though my voice truthfully doesn’t do well aping Liam, at the time Grope played the song live, I would find myself automatically adding the vowels

Sun-shee-iiine

partly for fun, but partly because Oasis were just so omnipresent at the time.

In the songwriting, I was playing with the idea of double-choruses

[a signature of my favourite band, REM, so very non-Britpop]

and Anywhere But Here falls into the cluster of songs where I play with the technique.

I still clearly remember sitting on the lounge floor of our flat in Ramsgate, Kent, and making the choice to reverse the chord sequence of the verse turnaround to provide the chord sequence of the first chorus

             D                         C       Em                      A
You’ll ride, yes you’ll ride, anywhere but here

became

A                 Em                   C                    D
Seems so dreary, since I got out of bed

The second chorus then steps off into its own sequence, which feels nicely circular, and lays the foundation for the solo, in live performance and recorded, just a picked version of the chords

[some shades of Coxon, but more likely a reflection of Peter Buck, whose style seems to sit within most of my rhythm work]

rather than a more upfront melody.

Lyrically, as the title suggests, Anywhere But Here revolves around the yearning to be elsewhere, to run away; it’s one side of a conversation between two people – and undoubtedly somewhere down in my sub-conscious, there’ll be some part of Romeo and Juliet’s tragedy. These themes, of hope and escape, were signature within Britpop, from the hedonistic impulses of so many songs, to the Cool Britannia remodelling of national identity

[reclaiming the Union Jack from the far right, and putting it on a guitar]

to the  re-emergence of London into a cultural destination – not really seen since its 60s prime.

Personally, I know that some part of these lyrics were also me speaking to myself, knowing that I was slipping down the rabbit-hole of corporate life, instinctively facing the compromise I was forcing upon myself and wanting to turn the other way. And, while that’s very specific to me, I like to think that I placed it in the abstract enough that it becomes something universal.

You, dear listener, will have to be the judge of that.

Love – peace – trust

Vince Sig 131x89